Photos: Wetzlar Camera Auctions
Wetzlar Camera Auctions

Top Lots

Peak prices and spectacular results at Wetzlar Camera Auctions – despite Corona. More than 500 customers were connected online at the third auction for historical photo cameras and accessories.

More than 250 lots came up for auction in the third vendue for historic photo cameras and accessory held by Wetzlar Camera Auctions (WCA) on 9 October. As expected, the event met with keen interest from the bidders gathered in Hotel Bürgerhof or participating via phone or Internet. Over 500 customers had joined by Internet alone. It was not only rarities by Leica, Wetzlar’s manufacturer of long-standing tradition, that made the apparent temperature in the auction hall rise significantly.

Leica M4 oliv „Bundeswehr“ (1970)

With a number of only 31 pieces one of the very big rarities and the rarest type among the Bundeswehr Leica cameras in olive green painted version.

Canon EF 1:5.6/1200 mm L (1997)

The lens was introduced in 1993 and was only available on special order. Canon itself has never published production figures for this lens. It is assumed that the number of units is around 20.

Bidding for the prototype of a Leica III from 1932, for example, shot up from 80,000 EUR to an incredible 375,000 EUR. Even more extraordinary was the sum of 450,000 EUR realized with a Leica M4 from the former armory of the German Bundeswehr (federal army), painted in NATO olive green and dated 1968 (see picture). The fever curve reached its unexpected peak when the auctioneers called a telephoto lens Canon EF 1:5.6/1200 mm L of which presumably only 20 specimens had been manufactured on special order back in the 1990s. Two customers who took part via phone engaged in a gripping bidding war with each other which didn’t end before it had reached the marvelous amount of 500,000 EUR. This is the highest price that a camera lens has ever achieved in an auction worldwide.